There are many different kinds of oils, as well as other animal and vegetable fats used in cooking all over the world. But if we had to choose just one, then for its versatility in the kitchen, health benefits and exquisite flavour, it would have to be extra-virgin olive oil.
This natural product is made purely from oil squeezed from olives. It is rich in unsaturated fats and antioxidants, helps reduce cholesterol, and has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as boosting the digestive and immune systems. Extra-virgin olive oil is not only delicious, but its properties are also easy to include in your everyday diet thanks to its widespread use in all kinds of homemade recipes. Want to hear more?
Frying never tasted so good. We all know we need to cut down on fried food, but we shouldn’t demonise frying completely: it all depends on the quality of the oil we use. Extra-virgin olive oil not only withstands the high temperature required for frying, but also forms a film over the surface of food that ensures they remain crunchy. You’ll soon notice the difference by frying some chips!
From the frying pan to the oven. Onion and tomato sauces, confits, stir-fries, roasts… extra-virgin olive oil is a great ace to have up your apron. Forget about greasing your dishes with butter; extra-virgin olive oil will do just as well and brings out all the juices and flavours.
Perfect pizzas, biscuits and pastries. Extra-virgin olive oil is an excellent replacement for butter in dough or cake mixture when making pancakes, blinis, sponge cakes, biscuits and the like. You’re best choosing extra-virgin olive oil made from Hojiblanca or Arbequina olives, as they are the mildest flavoured and most suitable for this kind of cooking. For every 100 g of sugar in your recipe, you should use about 85 g of extra-virgin olive oil. If you want some more ideas on replacing butter, check out this post.
Great salads. Extra-virgin olive oil is great for making light and thicker salad dressings. You can use it to make a simple vinaigrette (6 spoonfuls of extra-virgin olive oil for every 2 spoonfuls of vinegar), to which you can add extras such as mustard, black pepper, oregano, etc. To make a thicker dressing, try mixing extra-virgin olive oil with a low-fat natural yogurt and a little honey. Or beat together egg, lemon and salt (250 ml of extra-virgin olive oil and a spoonful of lemon juice for every 1 egg) to make a delicious mayonnaise or try out one of these versions.